“The [prodigal] son said to [his father], ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.”
Caleb (not his real name) came to our church as a recently married college graduate with a troubled past. It was great to see this young man and his wife join a community of Believers.
Caleb’s time at our church did not last long, however. We discovered he was carrying quite a bit of emotional baggage into our Small Group. He saw me as an enemy for no good reason and kept his crosshairs on me. After Caleb said many hurtful things to me, he left the church. It was hard to forgive him. Some days, I feel I am still in that process.
Fast forward to last week. My wife, Lauren, and I are having a baby shower. Lauren and Caleb’s wife have sustained a distant relationship. Lauren came to me and said, “I think we need to invite them…”
“What!?” I thought to myself. “I never want to see that guy again!”
Before I blurted out my refusal, I realized the grace my wife showed them through an invitation was a similar grace to the prodigal son’s father in Luke 15.
Will Caleb come? Maybe. Maybe not. But if he does, I know Jesus wants me to be genuinely happy he’s there.
There are prodigal sons in all of our lives. Our love towards them can have an impact on their hearts. Not only that, God receives glory when we offer grace to people, just like He does for us everyday!
P.S. I’m grateful God gave a foolish, stubborn man like me a wise, gracious woman!
Daily Battle Order:
Who is the prodigal son in your life that has left the faith, the church, or a friendship? Pray for him/her. Listen to the Spirit for a command. Perhaps He wants you to send a simple text, or an even greater display of love.